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The Inevitable Emergence of Vocational Courses in India



Amit Gainda

Amit Gainda

Historically, traditional courses, largely under the purview of medicine, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and MBA have pre-dominantly set an overarching trend making them the most obvious choice of higher studies for Indians. However, the dynamics of both the education ecosystem and the employability landscape are rapidly changing.

From student demographics to teaching techniques, many such aspects are constantly changing. Part of this evolution can very simply be attributed to the fact that jobs will be replaced by automation of processes. This leads us to the increasing education – employability gap. Taking this into consideration, developing countries such as ours, there is a critical need for quality skill development and learning. Students as well as working professionals who opt for executive education are more inclined towards such courses.

Evolution of jobs has played a huge role in contributing to this wave of undertaking vocational courses. No longer are Indian parents looking at tying down their children to books and are welcoming the idea of more non-conventional courses, driven by creativity, innovation and specialization in alternative fields such as Aviation, Music, Industrial Automation, Robotics and even animation. Courses like Sports Management and Rural Management which comprises of various studies in Agribusiness, Rural Economy and Public Policy Management, etc. are some of the latest forthcoming trends in the ecosystem. While courses like STEM, Medicine and MBA remain highly popular; such off-beat courses are now rapidly becoming mainstream.

The foremost reason for this transformational shift has largely been because of modification in the Indian citizen’s lifestyle and behavioural trends. Programs such as “Make in India”, a strong and successful initiative also fosters innovation and enhances skill development to attract investments and talent across the globe. Similarly, Digital India, the flagship scheme with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered economy complements the emergence, awareness and relevance of unconventional course.

The need of skilling and aligning with changing trends and technology is swiftly increasing. AI, machine learning and analytics have changed the way most industries function; it is a new wave in almost every industry, compelling professionals to up-skill and driving millennials to opt for new courses. In the past, job profile of a data scientist was unheard of but today it is one of the sought after jobs across industries like medical, financial services, hospitality, weather bureau, etc. For instance, medical science backed by data analytics has made a remarkable difference, right from computerising medical records to discovering drugs to genetic disease exploration, etc. all these cumulatively have been contributing towards building better healthcare and saving more lives. Similarly, other industries and business can use the power of AI to make better and more informed decisions.

Vocational education in India is now moving away from a gamut of formal structure programmes, opening opportunities for passionate students. The education ecosystem has already started gearing up to this evolution and needless to say that one can definitely envision vocational streams being a part of primary and secondary curriculum in the near future. With this, the introduction of skill training at a young age will give the students leverage to explore various options and narrow down on a future plan they are keen on.  What we’re currently witnessing is just the start of a massive trend, which in the coming years will only intensify, leading to the emergence of newer specialized vocational courses. It is indeed a start of an era led by modern and digital India, redefining the Indian higher education eco-system in the country.

–  Article Authored by Amit Gainda, CEO, Avanse Financial Services